On July 3, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) announced that Catherine Weatherford, long-time executive vice president and CEO, would be leaving her post after the 2008 Fall National meeting. Weatherford was the longest-serving executive VP in NAIC’s history–having held the position for 12 years–and at the time of the announcement, Weatherford was quoted as saying that she would be pursuing “another professional career.”
That career has turned out to be president and CEO of the National Association for Insured Retirement Solutions, formerly known as the National Association for Variable Annuities (and still using the acronym NAVA), where Weatherford assumed her new duties on September 3. A former insurance commissioner for the state of Oklahoma, where she oversaw the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s accreditation process and established a long-term care insurance regulation system, Weatherford subsequently served as regional manager for public affairs at Liberty Mutual Insurance Group before heading to NAIC.
This new position, while a departure from her previous work, offers her the opportunity, she says, to “work . . . much more closely with a lot of the trade associations out there in the retirement planning arena.” She’ll also be working with broker/dealers, asset managers, and the insurance companies that manufacture and sell variable annuities. It’s an easy transition, she says, because “I believe this organization [NAVA] is highly regulated, and highly committed to trust and integrity.”
Weatherford sees her hand at NAVA’s tiller as guiding it into areas in which it can “create greater financial education for financial professionals, and literacy for investors, so that there’s better understanding, transparency, and trust among all people involved in the retirement planning relationship.” She adds that she sees NAVA campaigning to “eliminate misperceptions about annuity products and promote sound financial planning for people of all ages.” She believes, she adds, that annuities are a “good tool in the toolbox” to provide a lifelong stream of income for all Americans.